ASTR332-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Theoretical and Observational Cosmology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course is an account of modern cosmology. It will include a discussion on the large scale homogenous and isotropic nature of the Universe and how the Universe is expanding with time. This will be followed by a brief review of the aspects of General Relativity that we will need in the course. After that, we will discuss the constituents of the Universe and how the expansion of the Universe has changed over time. The apparent accelerating expansion of the Universe and the proposed dark energy explanation for it will also be discussed. The evidence for dark matter and what properties it appears to have will be reviewed. We will use the Boltzmann equation to understand big bang nuclear synthesis and the cosmic microwave background. These are two of the main observational pillars of the big bang model of the Universe. The Boltzmann equation will be used to study a thermal relic model of dark matter. We will then go on to study the inhomogeneity of large scale structure such as galaxies, galaxy clusters and the cosmic web. The anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background will be analysed. We will see how observations of both of these phenomena can allow us to tightly constrain many properties of the Universe. Pre-requisites - additional info: Prior astronomy courses would be useful but are not essential as we will cover any needed subjects during the course.


(1) PHYS205 and PHYS203; and (2) MATH103 or MATH109 or EMTH119 or MATH201.  RP: MATH202


ASTR422, ASTR322

Recommended Preparation

Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 15:00 - 16:00 Beatrice Tinsley 112
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 15:00 - 16:00 Jack Erskine 445
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 12:00 - 13:00 Jane Soons 602
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun


Chris Gordon

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $951.00

International fee $4,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Physical & Chemical Sciences on the departments and faculties page .

All ASTR332 Occurrences

  • ASTR332-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023